I feel like winter got off to a bit of a false start, but now it looks like it's properly here and we're hunkering down with hot chocolates, warming one-pot meals and too many layers. This recipe was on off-the-cuff weeknight supper; I was originally hoping to make a chorizo and potato version, but the supermarket didn't have cooking chorizo. I hadn't tried venison before, but these sausages are hearty and hold up well in a stew, plus they have much less fat than pork sausages. When I decided to make the recipe again for the blog this weekend, I couldn't quite remember exactly what I did the first time around, but it still turned out delicious and I'm quite confident that you could really go off-piste with this and it would still turn out well.
To make 2 - 3 portions
6 venison (or good quality pork) sausages
2 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
2 400g tins plum tomatoes
1 400g tin haricot beans
Splash of white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
1tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp barbecue sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Meanwhile, finely dice the onion and fry in olive oil or butter in an ovenproof pan - if you don't have one, use a normal frying pan and transfer to an ovenproof pot before putting in the oven. Finely slice the garlic and dice the red pepper and add to the pan along with the white wine and balsamic vinegar.
Once the onions are translucent and slightly browned, push everything to the sides and add the sausages to the pan. Once browned, tip in the tinned tomatoes and beans. Bring everything to a gentle bubble and add the sugar, tomato puree, cumin, paprika and barbecue sauce (if using). Transfer to the oven and allow to cook for at least 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and started to go a bit jam-like in places.
This easy one-pot meal is definitely satisfying enough as a standalone dish, but you could also serve it with a hunk of crusty bread to mop up the sauce or over a jacket potato (it is glorified baked beans, after all!).